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Post-natal ward survival guide.

(15 Posts)
WolfShapedBullet Tue 12-Jul-11 21:33:37

Apologies if this has been done before, I'm due to spend a few nights in hospital post planned Caesarian section (on Friday Eek).

Having seen some recent posts regarding the horrors of the PN ward I was hoping people could share their experiences (positive and negative) and tips for surviving.

I had an unexpected one night stay in 2007 after having dd, transferredpost homebirth and it was not great, I am truly dreading this time around.

I know all hospitals are different but if anybody can help by sharing their stories I would be very grateful.

Thanks in advance, a very nervous WSB grin.

PhyllisDiller Tue 12-Jul-11 22:38:23

I might well be in for 48 hours post birth, I’m not amused, needs must though.

I am taking:

Black out eye mask for when baby nods off just as the morning shift are arriving.
Cotton wool for ears – purpose, as above!
Copious amounts of light reading for when baby sleeps and I am wide awake.
Bottles of water because I hate the hospital tap water.
A bag of apples because there is never enough fruit in hospital (and, erm…as you know fibre is good to help things along post birth….so I will take fybogel too).
Snacks and nibbles. Might treat myself to some special ones this time, just because it is a bit rubbish being stuck in hospital.
Nice mini travel size shower gels etc.

Other than that I am off to primark so I can have a fresh nighty everyday, a second pillow, and slippers.

I would also recommend finding out where the linen cupboard is, at my local hospital it’s easy to miss out on sheet change time, so rather than wait a day I’ve done my own bed (I ask obviously, but they don’t mind as it saves them a job). Shower early before the rush while the showers are clean, take flip-flops for loo and shower trips.

I really hate being stuck in hospital….I’ve been was caught unawares twice now, both times for 2 or 3 nights. Both times having a morning shower and ‘getting dressed’ (into a fresh nighty etc) and making the bed helped me feel a bit more human!

This time I will try and see it as a bit of a rest and take in a few treats with me (is taking a mini can of C&T going too far…..?). After all, your meals are brought to you and there is no housework to do! Trying to look on the upside, but I know I will be dying to come home.

cardamomginger Tue 12-Jul-11 23:55:52

yes, DEFINITELY take flip flops that you can wear when you go to the toilet or have a shower. and then throw them away afterwards! a light weight (so you're not too hot) and dark coloured (so the odd bit of blood doesn't show) dressing gown you can throw on when you leave the "privacy" of your cubicle and confront everyone else's DHs and assorted family members. alcohol wipes or milton wipes if things are too grim.

pyjamalover Wed 13-Jul-11 10:02:05

I had very low expectations of PN care after my EMCS after all the things I've heard, and therefore was pleasantly surprised! I tried to ask for help from midwives as little as possible (although that was still quite a lot as couldn't move first night after EMCS and needed help BF).

Most of the midwives were nice enough, and one lovely one even took the baby overnight for a couple of hours so I could sleep (and away from tearful, exhausted colostrum smelling mummy the baby also slept!)

Flisspaps Wed 13-Jul-11 10:04:46

The one thing I loved was my own pillow, rather than a plastic covered hospital one.

ShowOfHands Wed 13-Jul-11 10:09:58

I had an emcs and was discharged 12hrs later. As the rule is that you can go on day 2 and day 1 is the day of surgery, it's perfectly possible to spend only one night assuming no obvious issues.

There's nothing, not even Damian Lewis doing a naked skit just for me, that could have made the postnatal stay worth it. Maybe the drugs. I should have accepted more drugs. Big ones with hallucinagenic side effects. Definitely do that. Or take your own.

Malvapoeding Wed 13-Jul-11 10:10:57

Your own pillows - I took 2 and it made life more bearable! Also if you are having a CS when you are your DH/P leaves that first day to head home make sure he leaves everything in arms reach from tissues to food and water as the mw/hca's are often very busy and you will feel daft (as I did post epidural) asking someone to pass you things. If you are planning on BF then take a BF pillow/cushion as it will stop baby kicking your cs wound and make feeding more comfortable.

EveryonesJealousOfWeasleys Wed 13-Jul-11 10:13:27

My mum turned up with a home made chocolate fudge cake and a knife grin - can highly recommend!

Cattleprod Wed 13-Jul-11 10:15:43

I quite enjoyed my 6 night stay!!

My tip would be to choose the sandwich option for your lunch. They bring both courses together and by the time you've eaten the first course, the pudding is cold. I'd eat the pudding first and have the sarnies a bit later.

Firawla Wed 13-Jul-11 10:17:32

I was in for a week with ds1, and although I was desperate to go home I cant say the postnatal ward was too bad, it's just that a week felt like ages! I definitely agree with whoever mentioned having a shower and getting dressed straight away in the morning, I did one day in nightie as i thought that's what people are 'supposed' to wear in hosp after having babies (?!) but i found it made me feel so much worse, so sent my dh to go and get me some maxi dresses to wear so atleast its day time clothes but atleast still comfy and practical, does make you feel better.
I have been told I will be in for atleast a day or so this time, and hoping to try to look on the positive side of it a bit more, to take the chance to have some rest and sleep with only the new baby to look after and not ds1 and 2 aswel.
Also I know some people dont like visitors in hosp but I found it good to have people coming in to see me and baby, otherwise the time goes very slowly

diyqueen Wed 13-Jul-11 11:18:30

I had an ELCS nearly 4 months ago and was dreading the whole thing, but it was OK and although the 3 days I was in felt like forever at the time, it's a distant memory now. If you can, get up as soon as you can - I absolutely hated being tied to the bed with catheter, drip etc. and felt a lot better when I'd persuaded them to take it all out about 8 hours after the op. It was very hard getting in and out of bed but I was much happier being able to care for dd myself than having random midwives do it. I just kept her snuggled up with me most of the time. I found the days easier than the nights - the day staff were quite kind and helpful on the whole, but the night staff tended to be agency staff with a quite different attitude and I just avoided them as much as possible. I found it comforting to talk to other women on the ward, though I was lucky as one of my friends happened to be in there at the same time! Something I found difficult - don't know if it was just me or if others have the same - is that I felt really not too bad (considering) in the 24 hours after the ELCS, but by day 3 when I was off the morphine and very sleep-deprived thanks to nights on a busy ward with the lights on, I felt terrible. However, the staff didn't understand that and although I'd had loads of help and support in the first day, by day 3 there was little help or sympathy and I really struggled. I was sooo glad to get home! Strangely though I look back on the time in hospital more with the good memories of dd in those early days and have kind of blanked out the rest - without a baby it would have been hell, but with a new baby to focus on everything else sort of paled into insignificance. Good luck and I hope you have as bearable a time as possible and a quick escape!

marylou242 Wed 13-Jul-11 13:38:41

One tip - earplugs! Don't worry you will still hear your own baby through them, but they block out a lot of the other noise.

Own pillow sounds like a good idea, I didn't think of that. Hospital ones are plastic coated and very hot and sweaty.

WolfShapedBullet Wed 13-Jul-11 19:36:33

Thank you all for the replies, I've not posted and ran just really busy trying to sort everything out for the next few exciting days. I intend to have a proper read of the thread shortly, just skimmed for now. Some Top Tips I'd not thought of already jumping out at me! grin

Withwoman Wed 13-Jul-11 22:04:06

What can I say, Most postnatal wards are grossly understaffed. But no one complains... so there is a status quo. Equally, if you get good care, then please do take 5 mins to drop the ward manager an email.

The flip flops in the shower thing is a good idea, having picked up a rather nasty fungal infection with my first birth.

theborrower Sat 16-Jul-11 12:03:08

well I hated my postnatal stay (4 days post EMCS) - not just because of the situation, but because it was ever so busy and noisy the first few nights so I didn't sleep. So if I have to do it again:

I'll be taking flip flops for the showers and lovely soapy shower gel; more than one nightie; my own pillows, including v pillow for back and supporting baby; another good supply of drinks (apple juice) and chocolate treats; using my earlplugs instead of being terrified I wouldn't be able to hear Baby; a decent blanket (some nights it was roasting, other nights their crappy thin blanket did nothing and I was freezing); and a good magazine to read when Baby is sleeping. Oh, and borrowing my other half's I-touch or I-phone and making sure I have access to the internet - to read Mumsnet, of course ;-)

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